Practical Tips for Patent Drafting

Patent Drafting Styles Change to Meet the Client’s Needs – Patents Used for Licensing

This is a second part of a series on different patent drafting styles. The first post dealt with protecting an existing product. The final post deals with developing a portfolio with intent to sell a company.

Patents that are intended for licensing have a distinctively different feel to them and a different method of drafting. Here, our intent is to protect an idea that may potentially be more valuable at the end of the patent life. In this circumstance, we are unable to predict where the technology may change.

Rather than focusing on a product or opportunity, these types of patents identify a concept and develop as many variations or configurations of the concept as possible.

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How to Write a Patent Application – Deconstruction and Rebuilding Approach

There are several different styles of patent applications, each being a certain response to a specific business situation and prosecution strategy.

I use a deconstruction and rebuilding approach, detailed below, for applications where the prior art is reasonably well known, a product is reasonably well known or anticipated, and thus the claims can be well tailored.

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Bad Provisionals are Really Bad

Provisional applications that are incomplete, “quickly” drafted, or otherwise are incomplete are, in my opinion, some of the most dangerous documents that can be drafted, but also speak to some underlying problems with the attorney’s abilities. The biggest issue is that there is a possibility that the description of the invention is insufficient to support the eventual claims that may accompany a non-provisional application.

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Clear Writing Is A Key To Good Patent Drafting

Throughout the normal course of practice, I read many different patents drafted by many different people.

Some drafters use a very obtuse and awkward writing style that is incredibly hard to read. They use convoluted sentences and difficult prose to talk about relatively straightforward and comprehendible inventions. I think this syndrome may be the engineer/scientist in every patent attorney/agent.

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